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As seen in London...what's worse (or awesome, depending on your perspective)? The Xmas tree all lit up today (Nov 13th) or the mannequins?

The worst thing is you spying on your neighbours, fucking peeping Tom!
 
As seen in London...what's worse (or awesome, depending on your perspective)? The Xmas tree all lit up today (Nov 13th) or the mannequins?


Left hand side, third window down....what is that?
 
There was a late night talk show, possibly Jay Leno's, that asked viewers to submit newspaper clippings of the wedding announcements containing odd surnames.

Many nights I nearly pi$$ed myself as the results were shown on screen.
And some of the wedding pics of odd couples shown on ARRSE several years back were quite something.
 
A few years ago i carried out some research into my great uncle who was killed in WW2. During that I stumbled across another RAF Sgt, with a very similar name, who suffered a fairly terrible fate: His name was John Barton and when I looked into his story I found a remarkable tale.

218 Sqn 1622233 Sgt. John BARTON. Navigator/Bombardier:
Airframe NG330 Callsign HA-M, flown by F/O. Robert H. Kench R.A.A.F
They took off at 11.15hrs on New Year’s Eve 1944, from Chedburgh on the crew’s first operation in a
new aircraft, to destroy the railway shunting yard at Vohwinkel near Wuppertal. It is believed that
the crew got lost and were off-loading their bombs when a stray bomb from another aircraft hit
them, causing them to crash by the town of Leichlingen.
The only survivor, Sergeant John Barton was passed on to the Wermacht, but firstly to Polizeimeister
(Police Constable) Karl Bertram who was ordered to take him to the mayor’s office in Leichlingen.
Instead, on the way, Karl Bertram shot him twice in the back and at his post war trial said that the
prisoner was trying to escape. When asked why he did not shoot the prisoner in the legs, Bertram
replied that it was difficult in the dark to be so accurate when a person was running away. Although
it was considered beyond credibility that a man who had just scrambled free from a crashed aircraft
would be in any fit state to attempt an escape Bertram was acquitted of the war crime charge.
John is buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery, Grave 11.D.18.

About 10 days ago I found out that a NATO RAF colleague was going to be in Rheinberg CWG yesterday for the memorial service and sent him this little tale. Today, he sent me a mail to tell me that he and his wife had searched out Sgt Barton's grave and paid their respects, him reading this account to her as they stood there. They were kind enough to take a picture of the gravestone for me. A very touching way to close the loop.

View attachment 361400

The original piece about my great uncle is here Linky
Further to reading your post this afternoon, I made a detour on the way to Bury St Edmunds, stopped at Chedburgh Airfield, and had a mooch and good think about John Barton.

This is it in 1945:


From Google maps, you can see some of the runways and taxiways remain and although the NE/SW runway has been ploughed up its outline is still visible in the crop. The bit in the middle is gamebird cover crop. Orange blob is the former control tower.

Chedburgh airfield.jpg


Coloured blobs are my additions and relate to the photos below. Apologies for the quality - they were taken on a crappy camera phone.

Green blob is at the turning off the NW/E runway at the eastern end.
Chedburgh taxiway corner.jpg


Looking along the runway from the green towards the blue blob which is roughly at the shrubbery closest to the verge.

Chedburgh runway 3.jpg


Blue blob is here, looking SW into the setting sun along the NE/SW runway. The brambles mark the edge of a small ditch presumably dug when the airfield returned to farmland. The thin beige bit in the middle is the start of the cover crop.
Chedburgh runway 2.png


Looking back to the purple blob, marked as Hardstanding 5 on the 1945 map (furthest right), from the green blob. The hardstanding is still in pretty good nick and now being used for silage bale storage.
chedburgh hardstanding 5.jpg


Perhaps I should go back with a better camera and more daylight!

I also googled the history of 218 Squadron and came up with this for 1944:

The Group operated for the final time during the year on the 31st, in an attack on the railway yards at Vohwinkel near Solingen in the Ruhr region. 218 Squadron put up seventeen Lancasters, two of which collided over the target, before crashing in or near Solingen. There were no survivors from the crew of F/O Kench in NG330, but it seems that two of the eight men on board NF926 survived what must have been a controlled crash-landing, while another parachuted to safety and was taken prisoner. He, one of the gunners, was fortunate indeed, because F/O Woodrow and Sgt Watson, the pilot and navigator respectively, were shot by a local policeman while trapped inside the aircraft. The perpetrator, Herr Schulze, was tried and hanged in 1947. It was a sad way for the year to end, particularly with the scent of victory wafting over from the Continent. The end was not yet, however, and much remained to be done before the proud and tenacious enemy finally laid down his arms.
History of 218 Squadron

Possibly some confusion over who was actually shot by German police, or maybe there was more than one shooting of crashed British airmen.
 
After a bit more Googling I've discovered that 218 Squadron hadn't been at Chedburgh for long, arriving on 5th December 1944. I've also found what seems to be the same report of the crash of NG330 as @greenbaggyskin , after which Sgt John Barton was indeed shot during an apparent escape attempt:

31.12.1944 No. 218 Squadron Lancaster I NG330 HA-M F/O. Kench

Plus the report of the crash of NF926 which states that there were two crew trapped in the wreckage and shot by another German policeman:

Two men were found alive in the wreckage, one of them trapped by his legs kept shouting for help, but passers by turned their backs shouting "a murderer of women and children", except for Fritz Schulze, a German policeman who pulled his pistol and shot dead both F/O. Woodrow and Sgt. Watson. (Although he was found guilty of just one of the murders - no eye witness for the other)

Schulze was sentenced to death at Hamburg for war crimes by hanging on Thursday, 17th July 1947 - sentence carried out ont he 14th November 1947 in Hameln Prison.
218 Squadron Lancaster I NF926 HA-X F/O. Woodrow, RAF Chedburgh, Solingen, Germany
 
After a bit more Googling I've discovered that 218 Squadron hadn't been at Chedburgh for long, arriving on 5th December 1944. I've also found what seems to be the same report of the crash of NG330 as @greenbaggyskin , after which Sgt John Barton was indeed shot during an apparent escape attempt:

31.12.1944 No. 218 Squadron Lancaster I NG330 HA-M F/O. Kench

Plus the report of the crash of NF926 which states that there were two crew trapped in the wreckage and shot by another German policeman:


218 Squadron Lancaster I NF926 HA-X F/O. Woodrow, RAF Chedburgh, Solingen, Germany
That is some interesting info. There seems to be confirmation that John Barton was shot in those documents. Somewhat bizarrely, the crew of the other 218 Sqn Lancaster lost on the same night, is buried in Reichswald CWG, which is where I was on Sunday for the service. Strange circles and loops all over the place here.

Good work by the way.
 

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